Bavarian Motor Works’ sportiest sedan series dates back to 1975, with the BMW 3-series. Back then you were limited to a carbureted inline 4-cylinder motor producing 74 horsepower or an inline 6-cylinder producing 141 horsepower. They were not rocket ships, even for 70’s standards, but fans quickly adored the 3-series’ suburb weight distribution and excellent handling.
Today’s BMW range varies between a 180 horsepower turbocharged inline 4-cylinder (320i) and up to a 425 horsepower inline 6-cylinder (M3). You can’t go wrong across the line up though, because they all have near perfect 50/50 weight distribution for improved handling. This paired with a sporty design will turn a boring commute into an exhilarating adventure; one where you must ace every apex on your way to the office.
The vehicle I get to test this week is the 330e. It is the plug-in hybrid version of the pack. Don’t let the term plug-in hybrid fool you though. In terms of power, it sits in the middle of the range with 248 horsepower and 310 pounds of torque. Because BMW paired their 2.0L 4-cylinder engine with a lithium-ion powered electric motor, you get instant torque. Versus a traditional gasoline engine which achieves peak torque at high RPM. From a stoplight, this combination makes the car feel much quicker than a gasoline only engine. Continue Reading →